How can I help at home? With my 8 year old step son
My step son is 8 and he just started 3rd grade. He does not live with us full time, but on the weekends and one night during the week that we have him we look over his school work. After 1st week of school my husband and I were concerned when we saw his writing which looked like a pre schoolers. After contacting the teacher with no real feedback I have cont to work with him and notice that he is not reading well is unable to comprehend or sound out words that a Kindergarten child can read. Please help give me some pointers on how to help!!! It is obvious that his mother does not help him or encourage him at home and she has admitted to this. What do I need to do?
Your step son is lucky to have someone like you who is concerned with how he is doing!
Unless prohibited, I'd try to make an appointment with the child's teacher to learn more. Sometimes emailing or calling a teacher produces fewer results than actually going in for a meeting.
If the teacher isn't helpful, it may be important to talk with an administrator at the school to find out more about the situation.
At many schools, there are resources available to help children who are struggling, and it would be helpful for you to know if your step son is receiving any of these service. If not, there are steps that can be taken to look into these services, such as requesting a meeting with the school team responsible for helping kids who are struggling. These teams are called different things in different states, such as "child study team," "student teacher assistance team," "A-team," "problem-solving team," or "RtI team." Many times, parents can directly request a meeting with this team if it hasn't already occurred, and can be a good place to start.
Finally, it may be helpful to do a few of the things above, gather some more information, and post another question with more specifics about what has been tried, current services being provided, etc. There may be some more specific ideas based on that information.
It's wonderful that you are interested in helping your stepson improve his reading, writing and comprehension. Here are several ideas that may help you:
-Since you are the stepmom, his teacher may not be willing to talk to you directly, without your husband. Call the school and schedule an appointment with his teacher for you and your husband to discuss your stepson, and ideas for helping him improve.
-Read to him, each night he is with you, and also have him read to you.
-Encourage him, and praise him when you see progress.
I know you don't have much time with him, but you can make a positive impact on his life, with the evenings you spend with him. Good luck and I wish you the very best.
Shirley Cress Dudley
Single parent, Blended and Stepfamily expert
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
Author of Blended Family Advice